Big Ben's bongs must go on, says Prime Minister

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The Prime Minister has stepped into a row over the silencing of Big Ben, saying plans to stop the bongs “can’t be right.”

The bell is set to go quiet for four years for health and safety reasons during work on the tower, over fears the sound would damage the hearing of workers.

MPs today asked for a review into the decision to silence the bell following a public backlash.

But Theresa May stepped in today, saying: “It can’t be right for Big Ben to be silent for four years.”

The £29 million renovation includes the installation of a lift and repairs to the clock’s hands, mechanism and pendulum.

The 13.7-tonne Great Bell was last stopped for maintenance in 2007 and before that was halted for two years in 1983 for refurbishment, but has been stopped on a number of other occasions since it first sounded in 1859.

This story is being updated


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